KI countdown on in earnest

Thursday 31 August 2023

Just over three months remain until the King Island racing season commences for 2023/24 where seven race days have been scheduled.

The success of the inaugural running of the Miners Rest Cup back in January breathed new life into racing on the Bass Strait Island, and all involved with the King Island Racing Club are keen to ensure that momentum isn’t lost heading into a new season of racing.

Veteran trainer Ian Johnson took out last season’s King Island Cup with Cianna and says people unfamiliar with racing on King Island would be surprised by the quality of the product.

“It’s a great place to watch country racing but it’s also a level that would surprise anyone I think,” Johnson said.

“All the trainers are up with everything even though we’re bush trainers, we certainly turn our horses out as good as you’d see anywhere, and all the facilities are spruced up for the up-and-coming season.”

The win of Cianna in the 2023 Jim Mackenzie Agencies King Island Galloping Cup was an emotional one for Johnson, along with owner Casey Hyde who doubles as Clerk of the Course on race day.

Cianna’s Cup victory came with a free service to Levendi courtesy of Magnum Park who were big supporters of King Island Racing last season.

“It was a great spectacle for us last season with Cianna and even though I won’t have her this year, I should have another three others in work.”

The first of seven race dates for the King Island season is Ladies Day on Saturday 2 December and despite the success of last season, a lot of work from volunteers, along with horses for the dual code race meetings, is required to see racing prosper again in 2023/24.

Any Tasmanian owner or trainer (both Standardbred and Thoroughbred) who may be interested in having a horse based on the island for the upcoming season are urged to contact KIRC President Audrey Hamer on 0429 621 575 for a brief chat.

As has been the case in recent seasons, Tasracing are offering a travel subsidy which will cover transport for horses relocating to King Island.

The full list of race dates for the upcoming King Island racing season is below:

  • Ladies Day – 2 December 2023
  • KI Beef Day – 16 December 2023
  • Boxing Day – 26 December 2023
  • New Years Eve Cup Day – 31 December 2023
  • KI Recreation Day – 13 January 2024
  • Maritime/Miners Rest Cup Day – 20 January 2024
  • Southern Airlines Fly In Day – 27 January 2024